June 22, 2020

Mayor Bhalla signs Executive Order establishing new safety regulations for establishments with outdoor seating

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla today signed an executive order today establishing new safety regulations for bars and restaurants with outdoor dining within the City of Hoboken. The new regulations include requirements of face masks for customers waiting for entry into an establishment or outdoor area, the prohibition of “to go” alcoholic beverages for those waiting for entry, the requirement that customers must be seated when consuming food or beverages, and other measures. The new safety regulations were implemented based on feedback from residents, business owners, and customers that were received by the City over the past week.

“The City of Hoboken is proud to assist our small business owners with creative and innovative ways to expand outdoor operations,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I’m glad the majority of business owners taking the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of both customers and employees. At the same time, based on feedback we’ve received, we are implementing additional safety measures that further protects our City and addresses overcrowding and social distancing issues that we’ve seen at a handful of establishments. I’m confident that these added precautions, along with the continued partnership of the City and our small businesses, will lend to a safer experience for everyone.”

According to the executive order:

  • All businesses must require any patrons waiting for entry into an establishment or outdoor seated area to wear face masks, and social distance at least six feet from others. Face masks do not need to be worn when seated at an outdoor café.
  • No business is permitted to serve “to go” drinks to standing patrons while waiting for a table
  • Capacity of an outdoor café, outdoor sidewalk café, or any other outdoor area is limited to the number of seats available.
  • Only patrons who are seated are able to be served, and everyone must be seated while consuming beverages or food.
  • As a reminder, all tables and chairs must be six feet apart, measured from the back of a chair with a seated patron, to the back of a chair at an adjacent table with a patron seated.

If bars and restaurants are not able to enforce these safety precautions, the establishment will be subject to having the sidewalk café or expanded sidewalk café revoked or closed by the Office of Emergency Management, after a verbal and/or written warning, or violation issued by the Hoboken Police Department or Zoning Office.

A copy of the executive order can be located here.